DEMO Africa Opens Startup Applications for 2015 Edition

The application window for DEMO Africa 2015 is now open and entrepreneurs can apply from today. The application process will be hosted by DEMO Africa’s partner VC4Africa. The application window will remain open throughout the months of March, April to close by end of May. This will be followed by all the qualifying applications being taken through an adjudication process after which the top thirty will be invited to pitch on the DEMO Africa stage in September during the DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria.

Commenting on the announcement, Ben White, Co-Founder and CEO of VC4Africa said: “We are looking forward to having even more mature applications this year. This means that competition will be stiff and I would encourage start-up entrepreneurs to present their best.”

Harry Hare, Executive producer for DEMO Africa observed that each year since the first DEMO Africa event was held in 2012, the number of applications keep going up. “We expect these numbers to go up again this year which is extremely encouraging as it clearly shows that more and more African entrepreneurs are getting enthusiastic about being part of Africa’s entrepreneurship revolution.”

To qualify for DEMO Africa 2015, start-ups must ensure that their products have the ability to impact the marketplace of introduction. A clear business plan and a team capable of delivering the product are also vital. The product must be ready for launch and the business must be legally registered. Preference is given to disruptive innovations that have massive potential for scale.

The 12 application categories include: Agriculture, Health, Education, Manufacturing and Retail. Others are Media and entertainment, Communication, Transport and Logistics, Energy, Finance and Banking, Water and Sanitation, Waste Management and recycling.

The applications will be vetted by an executive panel comprising experts in business and tech. The best thirty start-ups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe.

The DEMO Africa Alumni have confirmed that they have been able to find valuable partnerships and learned useful business lessons through interactions by their participation. Last year, DEMO Africa presented 6 start-ups with a chance to tour the Silicon Valley to meet mentors and share with peers. These included; SpacePointe- Nigeria, Chura- Kenya, Nerve- Nigeria, Paysail- Ghana, Jifunza- Rwanda and Saisai-Zimbabwe. Recently, participants in VC4Africa research indicated they successfully raised USD 27 million, many of them being DEMO alumni.

Neal Silverman, Senior Vice President, DEMO Conference observed that Africa’s technology hotbed is simmering.” I am glad that the scene keeps heating up with each passing DEMO Africa event. The next challenge is to see a widespread consumption of locally manufactured solutions. Then Africa will have satisfactorily joined the league of world greatest economies.”

DEMO Africa 2015 is scheduled to take place on 24th and 25th September at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies and LIONS@FRICA partnership. As has been witnessed in the previous years, the September event is expected to attract top-notch African investors. Keep to http://www.demo-africa.com/ for updates on participants’ registration.

Submission of applications that meet the above requirements will be accepted online through https://vc4africa.biz/demo-africa/

For more information please contact:

Evelyne Wangui | Project and Communication Manager
Office:+254  20  404 1646
Mobile:+254  726 087 451
Email: evelyne.wangui@demo-africa.com

Miguel Heilbron| Director of Outreach-VC4Africa
Office:+31 20 233 63 25
Email: miguel@vc4africa.biz

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DEMO Top 40: Paysail Helps Businesses and Accountants Run Payroll Via Mobile Money

PaySail is the easiest way for businesses and accountants in Africa to run payroll, file tax and social security and also pay employees via Mobile Money or through the Bank. With a keen focus on simplicity of design and ease of use, PaySail automates every aspect of the payroll process.

Product
With PaySail, payroll taxes are automatically calculated each month, based on employees’ basic salaries. Paysail generates simple payroll reports available in multiple formats (including Excel). Paysail also generates and sends payslips to employees by email. These payslips can be accessed by the employee at anytime, from anywhere.
Value
By providing an extremely easy way for businesses to run payroll, pay employees and file taxes, we want to give local businesses a better payroll experience.
Successes
Our first success was to raise seed funding from the Meltwater Foundation. It’s generally hard for startups in Ghana to raise seed funding of any amount.
Our next success is that we are currently processing payroll for over 60 businesses after 5 months of starting PaySail.
We also ranked 2nd place at the Seedstars Accra event held in June this year.
Currently, we are one of 5 DEMO Africa LIONS who will be pitching in the US at DEMO.
Team
Precious Nyarko, CEO – Precious is a former Corporate Accounts manager at City Investments Company Limited. He is an Accountant by profession and a Graduate of Zenith University College . Precious also years of experience designing user interaction for scalable mobile and web applications.
Samuel Ako, CTO – Samuel Ako has over 5 years programming experience. His specialty is in developing scalable backend infrastructure for mobile and web applications. He also has strong interests in BigData and Natural Language Processing. He has a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from University of Ghana Legon.
Osborn Adu-Kwarteng, Business Development – Osborn is a Google certified AdWords practitioner and has a degree in Mathematics from KNUST. Osborn loves to develop business strategies and to manage technical projects. Also is also a programmer and spends time developing various software projects using new web technologies.
Development Stack
PaySail is built with Node.js using the Express Framework. We currently host PaySail on Heroku whilst we use MongoDB to manage our data.
Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
Find us on Twitter on @happypayroll. You can also reach us by mail at info@paysail.co. Please visit https://www.paysail.co/jobs to see our job postings